Love getting dirty on some BBQ? You'll love Hill Country. It's downtown Manhattan's biggest and baddest Texas style meat market. Think Disneyland in terms of barbeque. The sprawling, two-level space is packed with hungry patrons every night of the week, and has quickly become the Mecca of all NYC BBQ. The front area is a little small and usually way too stuffed, so make sure you hit the big downstairs bar while you wait for your table. Hill Country is a great big group style destination.
A personal drawback on my end is the live music downstairs. Is it really necessary to have C-rate Country/Bluegrass/Americana artists playing while you eat? Does that really make the whole experience more authentic? I think not. Now, let's talk about the food. Overall, it's solid but personally I think it's a little overrated. I like a nice meaty beef rib. While their ribs are huge, there's usually a lot more bone than meat and you have to work hard to get it off. Other than the ribs, my favorite BBQ attraction is brisket, and while Hill Country has actually been written up as having some of the best brisket around, a lot of us at our table found it to be just too dry for our liking. It's got nothing on Blue Smoke's brisket. That said, the pork shoulder and pork ribs are both excellent and the whole chickens are very tasty. Also, the fact it's serve yourself place is great so you can get a little bit of everything.
Food RundownLean Brisket
A little too dry for my personal taste, but slop on some BBQ sauce and enjoy. I should have gotten the moist brisket, obviously.Beef Rib
Massive ribs, but not as meaty as you would expect.Pork Ribs
Way more meat than the beef ribs, these things were porktastic.Bell & Evans Chicken
Perfectly cooked. Really nice and moist. Some of the better BBQ chicken I've had in a while.Pork Shoulder
Loved their pork shoulder - a killer piece of pig.White Shoepeg Corn Pudding
My favorite side here, their corn pudding is just straight ridiculous.